Stacy Williams, who joined the City of Cleveland as Public Works director in October 2021, is now the interim city manager. He was selected in a contentious 3-2 vote at a special-called meeting on Friday, Jan. 7. His first day in the new role will be Monday, Jan. 10, in the final work week for outgoing City Manager Bobby Pennington, who is taking a city management position in the Houston area.
Councilwomen Carolyn McWaters and Delores Terry, and Mayor Protem James Franklin voted in favor of Williams’ appointment. Councilwoman Marilyn Clay and Councilman Danny Lee voted against it. Mayor Richard Boyett also was against it due to the fact that none of the council members had been given the opportunity to review Williams’ credentials or resume beforehand.
“I like Stacy and he knows that, but I don’t know anything about him. I know he lives in Humble and I know his wife. It’s just ludicrous that a council could meet and not even look at a man’s resume, or anybody’s, and just make a decision like this,” Boyett said.
Lee and Clay voiced similar objections.
“It just doesn’t make sense to me. I’ve met Stacy. I think he’s a great guy and I think he will do a good job for the city as public works director. I would have liked the opportunity to talk to him about his qualifications. It’s what any business person should do,” Lee said.
Boyett said the hasty push by the other three councilmembers to make Williams the interim could have waited a week until they all had an opportunity to properly vet him as a candidate. Boyett said he is critical of the process, not Williams personally.
Pennington, who hired Williams as public works director, assured the council that Williams is capable of handling the job of interim city manager.
“Council, I hope you will give him the opportunity, a clean slate. We may not have been able to agree on the specifics of the position, but you are going to have a great interim working for you,” he said.
Prior to joining the City of Cleveland, Williams retired from the City of Humble after 30 years where he most recently served as capital improvement projects manager and streets improvement manager. After his retirement there, he worked for nearly two years at a consultant firm that performed construction engineering and management on Texas Department of Transportation highway projects.
“When this interim city manager position came open, I expressed an interest. Some of the current employees expressed an interest in me taking it. They felt the transition would be easier than having someone from the outside,” Williams said.
Williams and his wife, Kris, live in Humble. Kris works as a principal’s assistant for St. Vincent de Paul Catholic School in Houston. Together, they have three adult children.